Redentore is very important for Venetians and culminates in a firework display which, on Saturday night, leaves an unforgettable memory in those who can watch it. In the incomparable frame of the Basin of San Marco, colours, lights, reflections in the water and magical shadows create incredible visions on the fronts of the beautiful buildings and monuments, for an enchanting night that culminates with dawn. This year the celebration, which have since centuries kept alive the meaning of the festival, begin on the 20th of June. According to the rite, around sunset the boats that are lighted up and decorated arrive in the Basin of San Marco and navigate along the Canale della Giudecca to gain their ‘first place in the queue’. At this point, the party begins, starting with a rich dinner of typical dishes that fills the waiting time before the “foghi” (fireworks, in dialect). The historical origins of this celebration can be dated back to July 1577, when the black death was rid of in the city, which had lasted two years. As requested by the doge Alvise Mocenigo, at the end of the pest which created many victims, a votive church was built dedicated to the Santissimo Redentore. Designed by Palladio in the same year, and finished after his death in 1592 by Antonio da Ponte on the island of Giudecca, the sacred building represents a votive act that counts priceless artworks by Domenico Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese. To celebrate the city’s escape from the black death, every year in July, a votive bridge is created with boats, along the Giudecca canal, that links the island with the Zattere, meaning that Venetians and visitors can reach the Church on foot. The opening of the bridge and the solemn procession begins with the benediction of the Venetian patriarch and the religious celebrations continue until Sunday 21st July.
A tradition that has been adored from more than 400 years, crowded by tourists and inhabitants that, as well as celebrating on boats and on the islands, go to grand balls and parties organised in the different palaces.
Closing the event, on Sunday afternoon, the Giudecca Canal is full of typical boats. The rowing champions race each other on “pupparini” with two rows, boats which were used in the past as private boats for the richest families, whilst the final regatta sees men racing on two row gondolas. A fun curiosity about the Redentore night dates back to the beginning of the 1900s when a young Rodolfo Valentino, together with his friends, stole a small boat moored on the Riva degli Schiavoni. For the excessive speed the boat crashed into a gondola and almost drowned a tourist, who was saved by the famous womaniser. To thank him, the woman, a widower known as Lady B, invited him to her hotel at the Excelsior. It is said that the young student stayed with the Lady for the rest of her holiday.
Church of the Month
Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth o degli Scalzi
The Carmelitani scalzi comes to Venice in the beginning of the XVII century, and in 1649, they establish a small church dedicated to Saint Mary of Nazareth, inspired by a sacred image. In 1656 the construction for a bigger building begins, according to a project by B. Longhena. The front of the building was designed by G. Sardi, whilst the Carmelite laic frá G. Pozzo completed the internal structure. In the Manin chapel the last doge of Venice is buried, Ludovico Manin, who died in 1802. Sadly, during the Austrian bombing in 1915, the fresco by Giambattista Tiepolo “Trasporto della casa di Loreto” was destroyed, who celebrates the miraculous transport to Loreto of the holy house of Nazareth where Mary met the angel Gabriel. Some fragments survived and one of the sketches (oil on canvas) by Tiepolo can be seen at the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The Chiesa degli Scalzi, can be found near the train station of Santa Lucia.
Tra calli e scalini
Ponte delle Guglie
Walking through the sestiere di Cannaregio, before the area where the rio unites with the Canal Grande, there is a elbow shaped curve, and right there, the Ponte delle Guglie (Guglie Bridge) was built. Called at first ponte di Cannaregio (Cannaregio bridge), it had a structure in wood with drawbridge (1285). In 1580, Marchesino dei Marchesini then rebuilt it in stone, as an inscription recalls, near the crest of the doge Niccolò da Ponte. In the following centuries there have been various restorations, culminating in the reconstruction, in 1823 with the addition of four pinnacles at the base of the handrail. This characteristic makes it unique in its genre and distinguishes it from the other Venetian bridges. As well as the high pinnacles, it is adorned with faces and masks that decorate the exterior arch, hiding the joinery of the various segments.
Appointment with art
Banksy in Venice
The street writer, during the Biennale d’Arte, dedicates two artworks to the city. The “Migrant Child Mural in Venice”, as indicated by Google Maps, is a graffiti realised by Banksy which appeared on the night of Friday 10th May on the front of a building near Campo Santa Margherita. The English street writer, who confirmed he created the graffiti, is the author of another original artwork in the heart of the city. In the video posted by him on social medias, one can see someone hidden by a hat and a newspaper whilst he exhibits “Venice in Oil”, his prophetic shout against cruise ships in the city centre. It is an installation composed by nine small paintings that form a damaged cruise ship that is leaking into the water of the Venetian lagoon, with a background of a Venice from a different era, in the San Marco Basin. Policemen chase the star of the video, at the end, as he is without authorisation. The comment by Banksy on Instagram “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited”.
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
One of the most unique and famous building in Venice is the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Built between the 14th and 15th centuries, it has two exteriors, which differ completely from one another. One is refined and linear; the other faces onto a private patio, Corte del Maltese, and is composed of two parts next to each other but defined singularly: one has a series of loggias which are open and arches, whilst near to this is a single round tower with a famous spiral staircase. The exceptional dimensions and the decoration with single-lancet windows that continue until the top, where a belvedere shaped as a cupola gives visitors an unbeatable view of the city, define the architecture. The abode of the Contarini family, was sold in the beginning of the 19th century and it became a hotel, in 1852 it was then given to the parish of San Luca. The astronomic observations of Wilhelm Tempel, from the belvedere, allowed him to discover a comet and a nebula. Today the palace is owned by the IRE (Education Institution) of Venice.
Conte Contarina del Bovolo 4303, San Marco
4 Must of Venice
Da Kandinsky a Botero. Tutti in un filo
The exhibition “Da Kandinsky a Botero. Tutti in un filo” (from Kandinsky to Botero. All in one thread) organised by Venice Exhibition finds an elegant location in Palazzo Zaguri. The artworks of famous artists such as Kandinsky, Dali, Miro’, Andy Warhol and Botero are interpreted in textile works of art coming from, the most part, the tapestry company founded by Ugo Scassa. The great tapestry representing Venus by Botero, is the symbol of the exhibition, which shows the full body of the woman of which the Colombian artist is famous for, and is exhibited for the first time ever at Palazzo Zaguri.
Jewish Museum in Venice
Between the two most ancient synagogues in Venice, in the campo del Ghetto Novo, you can find the small but rich Jewish Museum, founded in 1954 by the Jewish Community in Venice. Divided in two areas that describe Jewish life, the first is dedicated to the cycle of festivities and liturgical objects, whilst the second recounts the story of Jewish Venetians, through photos and objects. One can admire also important gold and textile productions (XVI-XIX centuries), many books and ancient manuscripts.
Entry with ticket: Full 12 €, Reduced 10 €, Free under 6 years of age
In Campo San Zaccaria, near Piazza San Marco, there are many stunning shops that will catch your emotions in unique and alternative spaces exhibiting objects, lighting and furnishings. Original design objects that are curious, fun, a pleasurable immersion in design, as in the case of the ABC Collection that presents night-side tables, consoles, trays, mirrors, storage unites and colourful animals, all standing on feet with elegant shoes.
Mee Campo San Zaccaria 4683 www.meevenezia.com
Cocaeta – Not the usual Crêpes
Far from the usual tourist paths, is an authentic yummy place where waffles, savoury and sweet crepes can be tasted. A small, modern place facing the canal with ocean inspired lighting. A secret that should be noted down for all lovers of sweets.
Fondamenta S. Giobbe, 549